Every four years our country elects a new president. Then, after a few months of relative silence, the process begins again. It feels like there is always some angle to cover whether it’s an election year or not. And the rhetoric gets worse and worse every cycle. If you're still enjoying the soap opera between the politicians, give it a few days, and no matter who you want to win, you'll be going crazy.
Other than complain about the non-stop campaigning, what can you do? I like to take this time to plan for the implications of the election on the next four years of my business life.
For many business owners, there are a few hot-button issues that will direct where their vote goes. But this exercise goes beyond just deciding whom you want to win. It's a good idea to look at all the candidates and see their positions on the issues that matter to you and your business.
Some of the political issues that might affect your business are: taxes, regulations, health care, trade agreements, immigration, energy policy, and Social Security. (This list varies for every industry and business, of course, but these are some of the big ones.) It's worth an hour or so of your time to evaluate how each candidate’s policies would change the way you do business. In some cases, there isn't much difference between the sides. In others, you might realize that your vote needs to change in order to be correctly aligned with your interests.
Once you have a working plan of what you want from the next president, it's important to consider a plan of what you would do if either candidate were elected. You need to recognize that one candidate's victory might spell an end to your business as you know it. If that's the case, how would you handle it? What would you start doing now to protect yourself? If one candidate's victory would open a whole new avenue for you, how would you best profit from it next year? What could you start doing right now to sow the seeds of success come January?
By looking ahead and considering a plan of action, you can avoid being blindsided in November and either being forced into a bad business situation or missing a possible boom time for your company. Have you started yet?